Even those of you who wake up every morning jamming to this song may enjoy a little harmless military real-time strategy gaming from time to time.
And if you like Tower Defense games, the tropical setting of Apocalypse Now (minus all the weird stuff that goes on in the jungle—'the horror'!) and RTS games for mobile devices, be sure to read on, because today we’re reviewing Tropical Stormfront for you, a new game for Android that combines all of the above.
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|Reviewed version||Latest version|
Features & Use
Tested on: Samsung Galaxy Tab
Tropical Stormfront is a classic military action game, all guns blazing: it features tanks, battle ships, fighter planes, submarines and missiles. You are in command of the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) and the objective is to defend your base stations against hostile attacks by the Order, Discipline and Obedience (ODO) group.
Before playing your first round, we recommend following the brief and helpful tutorial, where the basics are explained and demonstrated as you play a quick round.
Check out the game’s narrative for more information on what led up to the current war in the Pacific, as well as to discover which countries make up the so-called UDA and ODO.
There are two game modes to choose from: Campaign and Skirmish. In Tropical Stormfront’s full version there are 25 missions in Campaign mode; Skirmish features more game modes (Capture the Flag, etc.) and allows players to set certain parameters such as time limits, agents participating in the war, different views (exploration/fog), etc.
The game is fully operable via touchscreen, which is probably why the developers chose to fully automate micromanaging resources. This allows players to focus on strategy rather than the nitty gritty of managing a battle field.
And strategise you must—because the further you advance, the faster and quicker the AI will send enemy troupes your way, on land, water and air. Again, with Tropical Stormfront it’s not only about having nimble fingers, it’s about tactics, because there’s strength in numbers. So build up your troupes and be sure to construct as many tanks / ships / planes as you can, mind your monetary resources and allow your base stations, ship yards and airfields to repair and replenish so that they might keep constructing more units.
Depending on your level and game mode, there are a lot of other factors to take into consideration, such as whether a war general is featured (if this is the case it is imperative that you take him out).
Details regarding your units’ and bases’ health and unit capacity are displayed throughout the game, but it’s up to you to keep your eye on the bigger picture, because – depending on your level and level of difficulty – you may have a lot of units to manage.
As far as managing units goes: they can be ordered to fire, patrol and repair, and each type of unit has a different set of factors that defines them, including speed, travel range, fire range, resistance to damage capacity and more. Tanks are the only units that can be used to take down enemy base stations.
Bases generate income, and I’ve already mentioned that there’s strength in numbers, so really the goal is to produce as many units as possible in order to overthrow your opponent. The AI uses the same strategy, and while it is extremely aggressive and ruthless it doesn’t cheat, so with a little practice you may even be able to anticipate your opponent’s next move, though in all fairness you will be fairly busy gunning up and defending your bases.
What we like about Tropical Stormfront: As far as RTS games for mobiles devices go, this is one of the best I’ve tried thus far. It runs extremely fluidly, the graphics are polished and the score sets the tone for an action packed game.
What we don’t like about Tropical Stormfront: As mentioned, the AI is very aggressive, making even the second mission in Campaign mode tough to get through for RTS newbie gamers. We also experienced some minor unit selection difficulties. Lastly, while we always enjoy a background narrative to a game, we're not crazy about the premise to this one, or the agents that make up the UDA and ODO, call us prudish PC sticklers if you must.
Tropical Stormfront is likely to really hit the spot for RTS gamers who have been on the prowl for a reliable military style game to play on their mobile devices. The game is pretty dense, so even though there are ‘only’ 25 missions, we predict that it will take most players a good amount of time to get through them all, and if that’s not enough there’s always the Skirmish mode.
Screen & Controls
Controls for Tropical Stormfront are easy enough and there’s no need to save a current game or status before switching application, using the browser or even switching off your device, seeing as everything is saved automatically.
The application is set up logically and everything is accessible and modifiable via the menu.
The graphics are polished and fluid, and if you like pixel art, a retro arcade kind of look and 2D isometrics you’re in luck.
Speed & Stability
Tropical Stormfront is absolutely solid and reliable. The application takes a few seconds to load and it runs very fluidly.
Tropical Stormfront can be downloaded for US$4,99 / EUR3,91, which isn’t exactly peanuts, but worth it if you’re a fan of this type of game, as it’s really one of the better RTS games available for Android. Check out the lite version if you want to try your hand at 4 missions before committing to the full package.